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Full text of "The Dynasts : Parts First And Second"

THE DYNASTS                    ACT 
Thence, all united, bearing Channelwards :-
A step that sets in motion the first wheel
In the proud project of your Majesty
Now to be engined to the very close,
To wit: that a French fleet shall enter in
And hold the Channel four-and-twenty hours."
Such clear assurance to the Emperor
That our intent is modelled on his will
I hasten to dispatch to him forthwith.1
VlLLENEUVE
Yes, Lauriston.    I sign to every word.
LAURISTON goes out. VILLENETJVE remains at his table in reverie.
SPIRIT OF THE YEARS
We may impress him under visible shapes That seem to shed a silent circling doom ; Hds such an one as can be so impressed, And this much is among o^t>r privileges', Well bounded as they be.
The Spirits of the Years and of the Pities take the form of white sea-birds, which alight on the stern-balcony of VILLENEUVE'S ship, immediately outside his cabin window. VILLENEUVE after a while looks up and sees the birds watching him with large piercing eyes.
"VlLLENEUVE
My apprehensions even outstep their cause,
As though some influence smote through yonder pane.
He gazes listlessly at the birds, and resumes his broodings.
------Why dared I not disclose to him my thought,
As nightly worded by the whistling shrouds, That Brest will never see our battled hulls Helming to north in pomp of cannonry To take the front in this red pilgrimage!
1 Through this tangle of intentions the writer has in the main followed Thiers, whose access to documents would seem to authenticate his details of the famous scheme for England's ruin.
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